While there are a few odd people in the world who truly love to clean, the majority of us can think of one hundred other things we would enjoy doing with our time instead of pushing a mop. Even if we are intent on keeping a clean house, longer work hours and busier schedules make it very difficult to keep up with everything often make us too tired to think about cleaning. How do we fit it all in and still have time to rest, relax and have fun? The key is to have a good schedule and do a little at a time. Don’t go rolling your eyes at me, it really is easy.
First, decide what you need to keep clean in your house. Do you or your family members suffer from allergies to dust or pet dander? Do you have young children that drop and spill things at an alarming rate? Are you a messy cook? Do you have ‘dump and go’ family members who leave a trail of shoes, coats and books in their wake? Find your problem areas and focus on them, then let the other things fall into place around them.
My personal areas of weakness are allergies and a less than tidy husband. Taking those aspects of myself into account, my daily routine looks like this:
Make my bed
Feather dust the main rooms of the house
Vacuum the main areas of the house
Clean the sink and toilet
Wipe the bathroom floor with a baby wipe
Spray and wipe the kitchen countertops and table
Spot clean the cabinet and refrigerator doors
Make a quick run through the house and put away anything that is out of place
Scoop out the cat’s litter box
The morning cleaning takes me about 10 minutes. The evening cleaning takes about 5-15 minutes, depending on what my husband was up to that particular day.
Your daily schedule may vary, but always try to focus on keeping the bathroom and kitchen clean, and as much put away as possible. If you don’t dust and vacuum daily, pick one day per week to run a static or feather duster over everything and lug the vacuum around the most used areas of your house.
For deeper cleaning, pick one room of the house each week and focus a few minutes per day on just that room. Wash the windows one day, polish the furniture another, vacuum in the corners the day after that. It is much easier, and less overwhelming, to deep clean a room a few minutes each day than trying to find time to devote several hours to do it all at once.
If you have a room that is completely overwhelming, such a storage room or office that collects everything, tackle it one of two ways: 30 items at a time or 5 minutes at a time. The 30 items method works better for my husband. He will sort through 30 items, whether they are socks that need to be tossed into the wash or pieces of paper that have to be filed. I like the 5 minutes at a time. I will set the timer or choose two songs on a CD and see how much I can get done during that time. Both methods set a limit that makes the job easier to handle emotionally, as you are giving yourself permission to walk away once you have reached the reasonable goal. It may take a few days to finish the job, but the job will get done.